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Red Sox announce signings of 9 draft picks, with more to come

06.17.14 at 8:45 pm ET
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The Red Sox announced the official signings of nine draftees, including their second first-rounder, Michael Kopech, and second-rounder Sam Travis, and according to industry sources, the team is close to finalizing agreements with all but one of the players taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft.

The team’s top overall pick, Michael Chavis (who was taken with the 26th pick of the first round, seven spots ahead of Kopech), visited the Red Sox clubhouse on Tuesday to visit with GM Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell. Chavis has an agreement, but his deal won’t become official until the conclusion of a routine physical and other normal procedural matters.

Chavis isn’t alone. The Sox appear close to deals with seven more players taken in the first 10 rounds, including:

— 3rd rounder Jake Cosart, a right-handed pitcher out of Seminole Community College

— 4th rounder Pat McAvoy, a right-hander out of Bryant University

— 5th rounder Josh Ockimey, a first baseman from Neumann-Goretti High School in Philadelphia

— 6th rounder Danny Mars, an outfielder out of Chipola College in Florida

— 7th rounder Reed Reilly, a right-hander from Cal Poly

— 8th rounder Ben Moore, an outfielder out of the University of Alabama who will be developed as a catcher

— 10th rounder Cole Sturgeon, an outfielder and left-handed pitcher out of Louisville who will be developed as an outfielder

Like Chavis, none of those players’ deals have become official pending the conclusion of normal pre-signing procedures, but all are expected to join the Red Sox.

The only player for whom an agreement to terms is not a fait accompli is ninth-rounder Kevin Steen, a high school pitcher out of Tennessee who showed intriguing athleticism and improving stuff during his brief senior season (he joined the baseball team only late in the year, after the conclusion of basketball season). Steen is playing summer ball, and it remains to be seen if he will reach an agreement with the Sox.

Here is the Sox’ announcement of the signings of Kopech, Travis and seven other picks:

The Boston Red Sox have signed first-round selection Michael Kopech, an 18-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Mt. Pleasant High School in Texas, the 33rd selection in the draft and the club’€™s second overall pick.  He is one of nine signings announced today by Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye, including second-round draft pick Sam Travis, a 20-year-old first baseman out of Indiana University.

Kopech went 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA and a .115 opponent batting average over 11 appearances this season for Mt. Pleasant.  He allowed only four earned runs, 25 hits, and 18 walks all season, and tied for the lead Division 4A pitchers with 129 strikeouts in just 64.0 innings pitched.  The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Mt. Pleasant also played shortstop for the Tigers.

This year he was named a First Team Perfect Game All-American and also earned a spot on Perfect Game’€™s Texas-Region First Team.  He struck out all three batters faced in his only inning of work during the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field and was named the exhibition’€™s Player of the Game.

Travis hit .347 (85-for-245) with 16 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 58 RBI, and 25 walks in 59 games as a junior this year.  The right-handed batter, a 2014 First-Team All-Big Ten selection and a Second-Team Louisville Slugger All-American, led the team in hits, doubles (tied), and RBI, and helped the Hoosiers to the Big Ten Championship.

Last summer, Travis played for Team USA’€™s Collegiate National Team, and he was a Cape Cod League All-Star with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the summer of 2012.  As a sophomore, the native of Orland Park, IL earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Bloomington Regionals.  He was named The Chicago Tribune’€™s Illinois Player of the Year as a high school senior at Providence Catholic High School in 2011.

In addition to Kopech and Travis, the club announced the signings of seven more players selected in the 2014 June Draft.  Among these players are right-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd (13th round) and third baseman Jordan Betts (18th round).

Shepherd, 21, posted a 3.66 ERA this year as a junior at the University of Kentucky over 16 outings, including nine stars.  In his three seasons with the Wildcats, he went 13-6 with a 3.45 ERA (72 ER/188.0 IP) and 128 strikeouts in 60 games, including nineteen starts.

Betts, 22, hit .316 with 20 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 32 RBI, and 29 walks in 51 games this season as a senior for the for Duke University.  He ranked sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a .515 slugging percentage in a second consecutive campaign earning Second Team All-ACC honors.

The Red Sox also signed centerfielder Derek Miller (23rd round), catcher Alex McKeon (31st round), right-handed pitcher Kuehl McEachern (34th round), shortstop Hector Lorenzana (37th round), and right-handed pitcher Brandon Show (38th round).

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